Next Steps to South Asian Economic Union

SAEU-cover

This report on “Next Steps to South Asian Economic Union: A Study on Regional Economic Integration (PHASE II)” was prepared for South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation (SAARC) under the guidance of Dr. Selim Raihan. With the support from the Asian Development Bank (ADB), the exercise was carried out in 2014-2015. The lead editor of the report is Dr. Selim Raihan and the other contributors are Mr. Cuong Minh Nguyen, Dr. Farazi Binti Ferdous, Mr. Md. Abdur Rahim, Dr. Ather Maqsood Ahmed, Ms. Robina Ather Ahmed, Dr. Nisha Taneja, Ms. Radhika Saini, Dr. Rupa Chanda, Dr. Arpita Mukherjee, Dr. Khondaker Golam Moazzem, Ms. Mehruna Islam Chowdhury, Ms. Farzana Sehrin, Dr. Prabir De, Ms. Suwendrani Jayaratne, Dr. Ganga Tilakaratna, Dr. Saman Kelegama, Dr. Mostafa Abid Khan, Mr. Shaquib Quoreshi, Dr. Rashmi Banga, Ms. Jennifer Romero-Torres, Mr. Stephen Wells, Ms. Susan Selwyn-Khan and Mr. P. N. Fernando.

The SAARC was formed with the aim to closely integrate the economies of its eight member countries (Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Bhutan, India, Maldives, Nepal, Pakistan and Sri Lanka). To give effect to the shared aspirations for a more prosperous South Asia, the Heads of State or Government agreed to the vision of a phased and planned process eventually leading to a South Asian Economic Union (SAEU). This report addresses the tariff and non-tariff barriers, infrastructure constraints and other factors which continue to hamper regional cooperation and integration in South Asia. This report provides a detailed roadmap for an SAEU along with identification of specific priority steps to be taken at each stage of regional economic integration.

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CONTENT

CHAPTER I: MOVING TOWARDS SOUTH ASIA ECONOMIC UNION

Selim Raihan and Cuong Minh Nguyen

CHAPTER II: TRADE PERFORMANCE AND TRADE POTENTIALS IN SOUTH ASIA

Selim Raihan, Farazi Binti Ferdous and Md. Abdur Rahim

CHAPTER III: SAFTA: PROGRESS, CHALLENGES AND PROSPECTS

Ather Maqsood Ahmed and Robina Ather Ahmed

CHAPTER IV: HOW CAN SAFTA EMBRACE BILATERAL TRADE AGREEMENTS IN SOUTH ASIA?

Selim Raihan and Farazi Binti Ferdous

CHAPTER V: INFORMAL TRADE IN SOUTH ASIA

Nisha Taneja and Radhika Saini

CHAPTER VI: SERVICES LIBERALIZATION IN SOUTH ASIA

Rupa Chanda

CHAPTER VII: LABOR MOBILITY AND REMITTANCES IN SOUTH ASIA

Arpita Mukherjee

CHAPTER VIII: REGIONAL INVESTMENT COOPERATION FOR A SOUTH ASIA ECONOMIC UNION

Khondaker Golam Moazzem, Mehruna Islam Chowdhury and Farzana Sehrin

CHAPTER IX: DEVELOPING ECONOMIC CORRIDORS IN SOUTH ASIA: PRIORITIES AND TASKS AHEAD

Prabir De

CHAPTER 10: TRADE FACILITATION MEASURES FOR SOUTH ASIA ECONOMIC UNION                  

Prabir De

CHAPTER XI: REGIONAL INTEGRATION AND POVERTY IN SOUTH ASIA

Suwendrani Jayaratne, Ganga Tilakaratna, and Saman Kelegama

CHAPTER XII: PRIORITY PRODUCTS FOR FAST TRACK TRADE LIBERALIZATIONS IN SOUTH ASIA

Selim Raihan, Mostafa Abid Khan and Shaquib Quoreshi

CHAPTER XIII: QUANTITATIVE ASSESSMENT OF PHASES OF REGIONAL ECONOMIC INTEGRATION IN SOUTH ASIA

Selim Raihan

CHAPTER XIV: INTEGRATING SOUTH ASIA INTO REGIONAL AND GLOBAL VALUE CHAINS

Rashmi Banga

CHAPTER XV: INTEGRATION OF SOUTH ASIAN CAPITAL MARKETS

Jennifer Romero-Torres, Stephen Wells and Susan Selwyn-Khan

CHAPTER XVI: CROSS BORDER ENERGY COOPERATION IN SOUTH ASIA

P. N. Fernando

CHAPTER XVII: INSTITUTION STRENGTHENING AND BUILDING FOR SOUTH ASIAN INTEGRATION

Cuong Minh Nguyen

CHAPTER XVIII: TOWARD A SOUTH ASIAN ECONOMIC UNION: POLICY SUGGESTIONS AND CONCLUSIONS

Selim Raihan